Spotlight on youngsters in Ironkids

YOUNGSTERS take center stage ahead of the iron-willed men of endurance racing as they clash for top honors in four age-group divisions in the Ironkids Philippines reeling off  Saturday at The Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

A total cast of 222 sets out for the swim-bike-run competition over varying distances in each race category of the junior version of the Ironman, all eager and ready to get going after being sidelined for a long while due to pandemic.

The centerpiece 13-14 class drew 54 entries, including 37 boys, in a race set over a race program of 400 meters swim, 12 kms bike and 3 kms run.

The 6-8 group will be held over a 100-meter swim, 2-km bike and 1-km run distance; the 9-10 bracket will feature a 200-meter swim, 6-km bike and 1.5-km run; and the 11-12 category is set over a 400-meter swim, 6-km bike and 2-km run course.

Action starts at 5 a.m. for the transition open and race briefing with the 13-14 category firing off at 6 a.m. to be followed by the 11-12 side at 6:40 a.m., the 9-10 group at 7:20 a.m. and the 6-8 division at 8 a.m., according to the organizing The Ironman Group/Sunrise Events Inc.

The 11-12 side includes 25 boys and 20 girls while 40 participants mix it up for the 9-10 trophy, including 23 girls. The 6-8 field features 14 boys and 15 girls.

For details visit http://ironkidsphil.com/site/ or social-media accounts ironkidsphil on Facebook and Instagram.

More than 2,000 entries from 46 nations are all primed for the Megaworld Ironman 70.3 Philippines presented by AIA Vitality unwrapping tomorrow, also at The Mactan Newtown, where the stakes are high and the test a lot tougher than past staging given a new, refreshed 1.9-km swim, 90-km bike and 21-k run racecourse.

That includes the bike route featuring the country’s newest longest bridge (the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway, an 8.9 km toll bridge freeway in Metro Cebu linking the city and Cordova.

Spicing up the weekend of fun and bonding in a shared experience is the IRONKIDS relay competition, which features the 6-10 category set over 100-m swim, 3-km bike and 1-m run, and the 11-14 age division to be disputed over 200-m swim, 6-km bike and 1.5-km run.

The 6-10 side has six teams while 12 squads are clashing for top honors in the 11-14 division of the event long considered as the spawning ground of triathlon talents.

The relay events will start at 7:20 a.m. with the awards rites set at 8:30 a.m.

The Ironkids has served as a side event to the Ironman series for years with the event not only contributing to the growth of the sport but also ensuring the steady flow of talents.

It has also encouraged the children to have an active lifestyle and develop values like discipline, sportsmanship and respect for others and at the same time preventing gadget addiction among them.